GRESFORD is the name of a British hymn tune without words, to be played (usually by a brass band) while the congregation are silent in memory of a tragic event. It was written in the north-east of England in 1936 to commemorate the name of Gresford colliery at Wrexham (Wrecsam), North Wales, where there was a mining disaster in September 1934, when 266 miners were killed in an underground explosion. It was composed by Robert Saint (b. Hebburn, South Tyneside, 20 November 1905; d. 15 December 1950). Saint had been a miner himself until 1932, when he became unemployed. The tune is played at miners’ meetings, such as the Durham Miners’ Gala, and at the funerals of miners. It was played, for...

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